(not that Andrea)
Despite the mostly succesful attempts to turn once seedy Times Square into a family friendly mecca of bland commercial activity, the NYC landmark can still be a scary place for a kid. Not only did innocent eyes have to contend with Spoon’s “Sister Jack” video being shown yesterday on the Jumbotron atop the newly opened Nokia Live, but the Daily News reports on another harrowing incident in the same neighborhood.
A Times Square movie theater laid an egg at a showing of “Chicken Little” last night.
Adults and kids expecting to watch Disney’s G-rated animated flick at the AMC Empire 25 theater on 42nd St. were instead presented with a foreign film that opened with a young man committing suicide.
“It’s pandemonium,” Joshua Gallo, 30, told the Daily News as he rushed out of the theater with his 5-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. “The kids are crying. The mothers are screaming for the managers to stop the film.”
Terrified children didn’t know what to do as they watched a young boy hang himself from a tree at the 8:45 p.m. screening.
After five minutes, “Andrea,” a Spanish drama opening today, was turned off and “Chicken Little” was played.
Patrons got a coupon for a free movie.
A similar thing occured when I went to a 42nd Street screening of “Stargate” many years ago, except there were no children in the theatre and I’m pretty certain they were showing the correct film.
Two mornings afterwards the loss to the Wizards, I’m still struggling to come up with positives about the Knicks’ early performances. I suppose there’s some solace in the way they erased a deficit on Friday night (only to later relinquish the lead to Washington), and in retrospect, Antonio Daniels was a notable exception to New York’s indifference on defense. The New York Post’s Peter Vescey, however, isn’t nearly as charitable.
The Knicks are not only without a victory in two skirmishes coming into today’s fortuitous face off with the Baron Davis-less Warriors, they’re without rhyme, reason and rotation.
As Brown repeatedly and none too cryptically forewarns, a starting lineup has a way of working itself out. Without uttering a syllable, the same can be said about his team’s irregular rotation and, for that matter, an entire undermanned, 15-player roster.
In fact, the Knicks’ consecrated coach already began weeding his new Garden only three sterile halves into the season. Channing Frye, buried in Boston, suddenly was turned loose on the Wizards for seven points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes. Why the abrupt about-face regarding the team’s top draft pick? And, as long as we’re on the same touchy subject, why was David Lee attired in business casual when the season started?
I’m glad I asked.
Considering both rookie pawns distinguished themselves during the preseason, some of you might’ve found it odd Brown deactivated them at a time when it might make better sense for their adoptive parent/authority figure to be exhaustively encouraging.
Most basketball pedestrians never would’ve chanced shaking the confidence of Frye and Lee. Then again, most of us, I’m guessing, never coached an NBA and NCAA champion, or are Hall of Fame inductees. In other words, as always, I’m perfectly willing to extend Brown the benefit of any doubt re: roundball subterfuge, especially when it pertains to psychological strategy of this type. Surely there’s a method to his madness . . . I think.
Not to say that Brown isn’t making progress. He’s finished second twice in New York, so already he’s exceeded his resume in Athens.
Still, one step in the right direction isn’t going to satisfy Next Town Brown for long. If the Knicks don’t evolve more than glacially during their upcoming six-game (“Say No,” campaign James Dolan) west coast trip he look revert to his glory days in Detroit. You remember: No Darko, no Arroyo, no Delfino, yes Mayo Clinic.
Excuse me if I don’t go nuts hailing the Philadelphia Eagles for taking decisive action in suspending motormouth malcontent WR Terrell Owens. For one thing, Owens’ only offense isn’t a sex crime, violent act or lack of production. They’re sitting him for being a jerk. Which is hardly something that began with his arrival in Philly.
I realize that former players like those below love to see guys who threaten to holdout and/or go half speed taken down a notch or two, but I’d be more impressed if ESPN interviewed some of T.O.’s peers. What do Joe Horn or Javon Walker make of all this?
from ESPN.com, Joe Theisman on T.O. :
The biggest question is still left to be answered, and that’s what happens to T.O. after this? Precedent was set by Jon Gruden when he let Keyshawn Johnson leave the team when he wouldn’t accept the team concept. The next season, Johnson was with the Dallas Cowboys and his old coach Bill Parcells. I’m not sure who would want Owens, though. He’s thrown Jeff Garcia under the bus and waited for the buses to line up to pick up kids to throw McNabb under them. If I was a quarterback and he became my teammate, I’d look out for buses because nothing has changed.
Sean Salisbury weighed in with the following,
Owens isn’t just a cancer, he’s a terminal cancer in a locker room. He has the maturity of a 7-year-old and it looks like he’ll never mature. I used to think he was worth the trouble, but he’s proven me wrong as he went from punking his teammates to punking the organization. He’s the ultimate I-guy in a game that is the ultimate we-sport.
If for no other reason than Owens representing such a stark challenge to Salisbury’s sensibilities, I’m rooting for him to return…and do another deodorant commercial with Bam Magera. The Eagles, however, should’ve known what they were getting themselves into, and if T.O.’s tiresome routine has been a massive distraction, why aren’t these commentators taking Jeffrey Lurie, Andy Reid or Tom Heckert to task as well?
Rangers 3, Devils 2 (shootout)
Though tomorrow’s papers will no doubt hail the much maligned Rangers goaltender Kevin Weekes, along with Jaromir Jagr (who created scoring chances all afternoon while extending his point streak to 12 games), spare a thought or two for Devils netminder Scott Clemmensen. Martin Broduer’s understudy was nothing short of spectacular Saturday afternoon ; though he allowed a game tying goal tap-in by B. Blair Betts midway through the 3rd period, Clemmensen could’ve easily given up another 4 or 5, such was the barrage.
It pains me to write this, especially when compared to MSG’s other big league club, the Rangers seem to be doing things the right way. After years of collecting expensive pieces that rarely fit (which should sound familiar to anyone who has observed Isiah Thomas in action), the Rangers have gotten younger and better at the same time. While work ethic alone isn’t gonna earn any silverware, the current incarnation of this club bears little resemblence to the directionless squad that has failed to make the playoffs the past 7 seasons.
This afternoon’s matinee was the first NHL game I’ve attended in nearly 2 years. And let me tell you, there’s no tap water on earth quite as hot as that from the MSG Men’s Room.
Totally kills the Carmelo/LaLa debate.
For those of you with an inexplicable interest in the lifestyles of UK soap stars, Nick Stone reports that would-be tough guy Ross Kemp, aka Grant Mitchell of “EastEnders”, has accused his longtime girlfriend, Sun editor Rebbeca Wade, of domestic abuse.
If nothing else, that’s next week’s cover of Private Eye sorted, then.
In a column that should bring a smile to a few Alabama fans, the Dallas Morning News’ Kevin Sherrington doesn’t quite call for the firing of Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione (above), but you don’t get the impression he’ll object too loudly if it happens, either.
He’s nearly three years into his dream job, working under a deal that pays him $2 million a year through 2012, and what have the Aggies gotten for their money?
A 16-16 record. And it doesn’t look like the returns will be any better any time soon.
The Aggies are on the road against Tech and Oklahoma and finish at home against Texas, a bitter rival making an emphatic case for the Rose Bowl.
Chances are good A&M ends up 5-6. And that’d make two losing seasons in Franchione’s first three.
A little perspective: R.C. Slocum coached 14 seasons at A&M and never had a losing record.
Sure, injuries hurt. Eleven players have had their seasons cut short. But the Aggies haven’t been good at times even with a full deck, since the opener, when Franchione set the tone for a disappointing season by passing up a two-point conversion and allowing Clemson’s comeback.
Comparisons don’t help. Two years ago, you couldn’t find too many critics who’d say Vince Young was playing better than Reggie McNeal. Even as late as last season, McNeal had his partisans.
But now? Turned loose by his coaches, Young has infused his team with confidence and enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, McNeal, the most talented A&M QB since Kevin Murray, looks as lost as his revolving set of receivers.
Bottom line: McNeal’s not the same. And offense is the Aggies’ high point. The defense, an A&M trademark for more than 30 years, is in shambles.
(the above photograph was taken at halftime on Wednesday)
From Newsday’s Neil Best.
Consider the Mystery of the Missing Nets Fans partially solved.
According to a turnstile count supplied to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, 15,504 people attended Wednesday’s opener against the Bucks at Continental Airlines Arena.
The Nets made a point that night of announcing they had distributed 20,098 tickets, making it technically a sellout. But many tickets apparently went to corporate sponsors and were unused.
During a heated interview on WFAN on Thursday, CEO Brett Yormark estimated that 17,000 people attended the game and host Mike Francesa insisted there were no more than 15,000 there.
From the Associated Press :
Minnesota Vikings players have encouraged teammates to boycott a local TV station in response to a report Thursday night related to the infamous boat party.
At least 10 signs – reading “Boycott Channel 5″ above a red circle/slash through the KSTP-TV logo – were posted in the locker room yesterday.
After getting a tip that offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie and running back Mewelde Moore were seen dumping garbage at a construction site near their Eden Prairie homes, KSTP reporter Kristin Stinar rummaged through the dumpster and discovered trash belonging to McKinnie.
Remnants of a party were found, including a list of several female names and incoming flight times handwritten on Vikings stationery. But McKinnie said the garbage was a result of a gathering he had had at his home two weeks before the infamous cruise. Moore said he ran out of room for his trash in his own bin.
“It was just a lame way of getting viewers to watch the show,” McKinnie said.
Though Charles Barkley isn’t the most serious of analysts (that was quite a peformance on TNT’s post-game “Who He Play For?” the other night, as Sir Chuck struggled to locate the current whereabouts of Walter McCarty or Lee Nailon), this a battle of wits Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is unlikely to win. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Art Garcia.
Mark Cuban faced off with TNT’s Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley in cyberspace this week, before the feud spilled over to TV.
The Mavericks owner took exception on his blog with comments from Barkley and Smith on the Mavs’ defense after Tuesday’s double overtime win at Phoenix. Cuban wrote about the “idiots on TNT” and added there is “a reason why Kenny and Charles haven’t gotten head coaching jobs.”
The TNT duo fired back Thursday night, spending a good deal of time justifying their basketball credentials and taking shots at Cuban.
Smith: “If there’s some idiot around here, it’s not sitting in this studio.”
Barkley: “I’ll never have as much money as [Cuban], I’ll never know as much about computers, but if he lives to be 1,000, he will never know more about basketball than [Smith and I]. If he knew something, he wouldn’t have put that little soft cake team together.”
Cuban (above) wasn’t backing down from his criticism.
“They say the exact same things about each team and player every time they play,” Cuban said. “They talk in generalities when they could easily offer more in depth information. And they could actually back up what they say with facts, which would make them more authoritative and interesting.”
…not for another 5 games, anyway. From the Oregonian’s Jason Quick.
Long after the 11 Denver dunks, long after the 11 Denver layins, and long after the 48-minute torture-chamber experience at the Pepsi Center that resulted in a 107-68 loss to the Nuggets, the debate started among a group of Trail Blazers.
The subject: What now?
Ruben Patterson (above) asked aloud how many games the Blazers have on their coming homestand, and when told they have a five-game stretch at the Rose Garden, which will be spaced over 15 days, co-captain Joel Przybilla spoke up.
“Good,” Przybilla said. “We need practice.”
“Practice?” Patterson asked, two locker stalls away. “Shoot, I don’t know if practice will help.”
“Nah,” Juan Dixon said. “We’ve got talent just like everyone else. We just have to learn from this.”
“Martell, you can be mad, but you have to let it go,” Dixon said.
“We should all be mad,” said Webster, who made his NBA debut and made his first shot.
“We are all mad,” Dixon said. “But this ain’t high school, where you have to wait a week to play again. We have a game (tonight), and we can erase this.”
Though the Mets have already identified Billy Wagner and Trevor Hoffman as potential candidates for the closer’s role in Flushing, the NY Times’ Ben Shipgel reports that the rest of the ‘pen might see a prominent addition or two as well.
The Mets inquired about the left-handed reliever Joey Eischen, who spent last season with the Washington Nationals, Eischen’s agent, Alan Nero, confirmed yesterday.
Eischen, 35, was used primarily as a situational left-hander last season, when he went 2-1 with a 3.22 earned run average in 57 appearances, and he may have made an impression on the Mets with how he handled Cliff Floyd.
Eischen would be expected to be a situational left-hander for the Mets, and possibly work as an occasional set-up man for their new closer. It is no secret that the Mets would love for that to be Wagner, and several Mets executives visited him and his agent, Bean Stringfellow, at his Virginia home on Wednesday to prove their keen interest in him, according to a baseball executive familiar with the meeting who did not want his name used out of concern that it might affect the competition for Wagner’s services.
It’s pretty hard to imagine crazed public adulation for former Rangers/Mets skipper Bobby Valentine were he to become the next Dodgers or Devil Rays manager. According to the LA Times’ Bruce Wallace, however, since winning that country’s championship series, Everyday Is Valentine’s Day in Japan.
Tokyo is Bobby’s Town.
Take the crowd in Shibuya on a recent Friday evening, the neon glowing over one of Tokyo’s hippest and busiest neighborhoods. Valentine is standing at Shibuya’s famous intersection with three buddies from college days who came over to see the final series — “The Goons,” he calls them affectionately — when a murmur begins to surf the crowd.
“Is it Bobby?” people ask, and suddenly he and his friends are surrounded, like a milestone home-run ball that has landed in the bleachers. Ten, 20, 50 people with more coming, all thrusting cellphones into his face until finally Valentine calls a halt and strides away.
He leads The Goons across the intersection and into a pachinko parlor, the Japanese gambling arcades whose machines are a cross between slots and pinball. People sit on stools, transfixed, as thousands of tiny steel balls tumble about in a deafening rattle.
They look as if their fate is in those balls. But an old woman recognizes Valentine and abandons her post at the machine to ask for an autograph.
When Valentine steps toward her, he accidentally kicks over a bucket of pachinko balls. Thousands roll down the aisles and scatter under machines.
“It’s OK, it’s OK, Bobby,” says the owner, rushing up to soothe him. She doesn’t want Valentine to be upset. Staff members grab brooms. The Americans escape into the neon night.
Suddenly the owner is chasing after them. “Bobby!” she shouts. He left without giving her an autograph.
“Arigato” — thank you — Valentine says as he bows and signs. She’s over the moon.
Wizards 64, Knicks 65 (9:45 left in the 4th)
To characterize Larry Brown’s first 12 minutes coaching a home game at MSG as inauspicious would be like calling Penny Hardaway overpaid. That the Knicks have survived — so far — their own horrible shot selection (this could be brutal if Jamal Crawford off the bench is a massive improvement on Quentin Richardson) and carelessness eventually matched being equalled in the 3rd quarter by the less-than-terrifying Wizards. I’m begining to think that even if Kurt Thomas were to be hit by a truck tomorrow morning, Phoenix would still have gotten the better of that particular trade
Trevor Ariza (8 points, 7 rebounds off the bench) has brought some sorely need initiative, but it’s nothing short of agonizing to see the way most of his teammates stand around and watch as long-range jumper after another is retrieved by the opposition.
Perhaps Eddy Curry is still playing his way back into shape. But along with an alleged reluctance to jump, you can add running to his list of things he seems to avoid.
I found a bone in a bag of nuts tonight. Feeling superstitious, I broke it in half while making a wish. Alas, James Dolan still owns the team and The Knicks City Kids are still allowed to “entertain” the somewhat fewer than 19,000 in attendance.
After landing on Ron Artest’s foot last night, Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal is expected to miss 2-4 weeks of action
I’ll probably not catch up with most of Friday’s games until much later, but Richard Jefferson scorched the Raptors…and I wish I was watching the finale of Detroit at Boston.
Toasty Post-Script : Wizards 86, Knicks 75.
To those nay-sayers who claim this is going to be a long season, I beg to differ. Based on what we’ve seen after two games against teams who aren’t quite the league’s elite, the Knicks’ 2005-2006 program will be exactly 82 games in duration. I’d love to give Gilbert Arenas (above) and Antwain Jamison more credit, but with all due respect to Wizznuts and the shareholders of VHF Records, when you’re unguarded that often, you’re supposed to score.
Either the fish tacos are in his blood or there wasn’t really an offering waiting in Boston. Either way, GM Kevin Towers says he’s sticking with the Padres, meaning there will be more exciting acquisitions like Vinny Castilla in the days ahead.
Ron Guidry has been added to Joe Torre’s staff. Not since the ’03-’04 Dallas Mavericks coaching cabinet has such an all-star cast of potential replacements (Kerrigan, Mattingly, Pena, Bowa, Gator) been assembled.
From CNN.com :
The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested that people who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.
“In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes,” Mayor Oscar Goodman (above) said Wednesday on the TV show “Nevada Newsmakers.”
Goodman said the city has a beautiful highway landscaping project and “these punks come along and deface it.”
“I’m saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb,” the mayor said. “That may be the right thing to do.”
Goodman also suggested whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.
In a related story, the Outdoor Life Network has won the rights to televise the thumb removals. Children flogging, however, is due to appear on ESPN Classic.
From the Fresno Bee’s Vaughn McClure.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association determined a violation committed by Fresno State’s former men’s basketball staff was a major infraction and could result in a postseason ban, athletic director Thomas Boeh confirmed Thursday.
The school this week received the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations, which determined that hundreds of impermissible phone calls made by then-coach Ray Lopes (above) and his staff to recruits constituted a major offense. Boeh said the school will self-impose a penalty ” possibly a postseason ban ” as early as today, although the school has more than a month to respond to the notice.
“There’s always a possibility,” Boeh said of a postseason ban. “But that has not yet been determined. Postseason bans, loss of scholarships and continuing probation, those are all possibilities.”
Lopes resigned in March after admitting his staff violated the telephone contact rule, which allows one phone call per week to a recruit during a given period.
“We were hopeful that this would be considered secondary,” Boeh said. “But as the investigation went on and phone records were pulled, it was clear that there were a great number of calls.”
Fresno State already is on probation until December 2006 and short two men’s basketball scholarships this season due to penalties the NCAA assessed in 2003 for violations committed under former coach Jerry Tarkanian. The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions could tack on additional penalties since Fresno State is a repeat major violator.
Congrats to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Greg Couch, the first columnist thus far (that I’ve seen, anyway) to imply that free agent SS Rafael Furcal might be a bad investment because of his single drunk driving conviction.
The Cubs have so many needs, including a star leadoff hitter, some speed, a leadoff hitter, a shortstop with range and a superstrong arm, a leadoff hitter, experience. And a leadoff hitter.
Furcal (above) is all of those things. He can be the answer, and the Cubs want him. The old Cubs, the ones who only pretended to try, would be announcing any day now that they had finished second in the Furcal sweepstakes. Darn luck. But these Cubs do seem to be willing to spend, and four years at $36million should land him. But there’s one big risk with Furcal:
“I play for the Braves. Can you give me a chance?”
That’s what he reportedly told the police officer last September, when he was arrested for DUI. It was his second DUI in less than five years, and it landed Furcal in jail for two weeks. He was going 88 mph in his $100,000 Mercedes, according to police reports, at 4:20 in the morning, with a blood alcohol content of .127. In Georgia, the legal limit is .08. Police said he had a woman and a large amount of cash in the car.
So this is what the Cubs are facing: A star shortstop who can make a difference. An amazing player with a drinking problem.
Yes, I said drinking problem. That doesn’t mean he’s an alcoholic, or even out of control. But it’s a problem, so recent that you have to keep it in the present tense.
I realize the laws in Illinois aren’t the same as those in Georgia, but what’s wrong with having a female passenger and/or a large amount of cash in a car? David Justice managed to drive around with the latter, and he turned out OK, didn’t he?
From Peter Vescey in Friday’s NY Post.
Dragged down in Boston on opening night by a strong overtime undertow and one Garden regular straight away second guessed Larry Brown’s continued use of Stephon Marbury, who aborted seven of 12 free throws.
In all fairness to Hooked on Stephonics, TV replays show, on three of four consecutive misses from the welfare line in the fourth quarter, he was clearly fouled in the act of shooting.
Having the number one pick of last June on board couldn’t have worked out better for Jamaal Magloire. With Bogut around to rebound (26 in two games) and run the floor and find the open man with precision passes and stick mid-range jumpers, the All-Star center isn’t under any pressure to try to exceed his limitations should he ever recognize them.
I told you the Pistons told me a mistake was made by making Smush Parker the last cut of last season. Now everyone knows. If you guessed the Lakers’ second-leading scorer against the Nuggets was Smush (20 points, 8-12 FG and suffocating defense on Andre Miller), you get an autographed copy of Phil Jackson’s new book ripping Lamar (2-for-13) Odom.
Having watched the Suns twice this week — folding to the Mavs on Tuesday, hanging on versus Kobe and The Other Guys last night, I can only assume Phoenix’s newfound emphasis on serious defending will kick in sometime around June or whenever Amare Stoudamire is ruled out for the season (whichever comes first).
Newsday’s Jon Heyman on the pitcher who could be the Yankees’ latest pricey acquisition from Japan.
Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka (above) still hopes to pitch in the major leagues this season even after his Japanese League team rejected his request to leave earlier this week. And if Matsuzaka somehow can convince his current employers to reverse course, the Yankees are expected to hotly pursue the pitcher considered by many to be the best in the Japanese League.
A major-league source said Yankees officials were severely disappointed when Seibu on Monday declined Matsuzaka’s request to be offered to the big leagues, though not as disappointed as Matsuzaka, 25, who recently hired agent Scott Boras to help him realize his dream to play baseball in the United States.
Yankees reports are extremely favorable on Matsuzaka, who went 14-13 with a 2.30 ERA and led the Pacific League in strikeouts (226), innings (215) and complete games (15).
“The interest in Matsuzaka is widespread from numerous major-league teams,” Boras said yesterday. “If he were posted, he’d be one of the premier pitchers in the big leagues because of his age and velocity.”
Although Yankees people identify the bullpen and centerfield as their two greatest areas of need, they do not pass up chances to acquire someone they believe to be great, and scouts who’ve seen Matsuzaka are effusive in their praise of a pitcher who tops out at 96 mph and features a “double-spin” screwball, or “gyroball,” which breaks into and then away from a righthanded batter.
If Matsuzaka and Boras somehow can convince Seibu to change its original decision, there will be a scramble for the pitcher. “Everyone’s going to want him. He’s a no-brainer,” one major-league scout said. “He’s a big-money guy.”
More on Matsuzaka and the gyroball, from Roto Authority.
Dear Mr. CSTB,
Could you please identify the young man on the right?
I can’t see clearly through the jealous tears.
Dry your eyes. Said photograph has appeared in newspapers and on websites around the globe — unlike our friends at Gawker Media, I fully acknowledge when a story is older than Bob Hope. I’m told that’s Ozzie’s son on the right.
Other than that, there’s not much else to say on the subject besides that Brent Barry is one trendy motherfucker.
Speaking of older than dirt, the NY Daily News’ Adam Rubin reports that the New York Mets are mulling a move for Julio Franco.
Marc Perlman describes this as “the worst thing I’ve read in a long time”. Sounds like an upcoming “Nip/Tuck” storyline to me, if not a stickier take on Lorena Bobbit.
Presumably, Howard Stern was all over this yesterday. Since it’s easier to listen to him while driving than read CSTB during your morning commute, I’m sure he’ll have further insights in a few hours.
From the Associated Press :
Third baseman Vinny Castilla was traded by the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres for right-hander Brian Lawrence and cash Thursday night.
The move paves the way for Ryan Zimmerman, (above) the No. 4 overall pick in June’s amateur draft, to start at third for the Nationals next season.
General manager Jim Bowden thanked Castilla “for his many contributions during our inaugural season,” then added: “This trade, however, clears a path for Ryan Zimmerman, who we believe will be a fixture at the hot corner in Washington for years to come.”
“In the 10 years I’ve been a general manager, I was tired of Vinny hitting home runs against us, either in Colorado or Washington,” San Diego GM Kevin Towers said. “He’s always been a Padres nemesis, not only from the offensive standpoint, but from a defensive standpoint. This guy, I think, is one of the best defensive third basemen in the game.”
That getting Castilla off the payroll was a priority for the Nationals, regardless of whether or not Bowden survives past April, isn’t surprising. That Kevin Towers has time for such public statements while scoping out real estate in the Boston area, however, is pretty impressive.
In a move slightly reminiscent of a young Lorne Michaels offering the Beatles $3000.00 US to reunite on “Saturday Night Live” (“split it any way you want — give Ringo less, we don’t care.”), the Canadian-American League’s Brockton Rox have offered Theo Epstein a job.
From the Associated Press (link courtesy Baseball Think Factory) :
The team, which plays in the Canadian-American League, is restricted to a total player payroll of $87,500 — far less than the major league minimum of $316,000 per player and far below Boston’s $126.8 million payroll this year.
“It’s assumed that Epstein is looking for a greater challenge,” the team said in a statement, noting that Epstein could sweeten the pot for players with an $18 per diem and put them up with a host family.
The team said Epstein could join Oil Can Boyd for Thanksgiving dinner in the pitcher’s hometown of Meridian, Miss., in an effort to get the deal done. Epstein used a similar tack to bring Curt Schilling to Boston.
One warning for the 31-year-old baseball boy wonder, though: “We don’t actually have an office for Theo,” Rox president Jim Lucas said. “But we built two new cubicles this year and he’d have his own phone and access to the internet.”
Though I keep reading that Epstein wants some time off, if the Rox were to throw in tickets to a Marvin Hagler film festival, they might have themselves a deal.
(Ron Artest is showing no rust, Jermaine O’Neal and Dwayne Wade are in playoff form….and all Reggie wants to look at is Marv’s browser history)
The next time Eric Kuselias or Colin Cowherd opine that the NBA regular season is a bore, please, show them a tape of tonight’s Pacers-Heat battle .
What you do with them after that is up to you, but if it involves a knife, gun or boiling vat of Blatz, hey, whatever it takes.
(the Sopranos, seasons one through 5 are all available on DVD)
Buck up, Bubba Lawton. You’re just a couple of good months away from total image rehab, if not a lucrative endorsement deal.
And while I’m on the subject of the Yankee Pariah Du Jour, what to make of Gawker Media’s Legend In His Own Mind crying that he’s not been properly credited for “breaking” the Lawton story? This, from a guy who thought pulling something out of USA Today Sports Weekly was worthy of hysteria, leading to days of gleeful speculation that Sheffield or Damon were the “mystery roider”.
The overwhelming majority of his content is culled from other blogs or ESPN.com, sometimes hours or days after it has appeared elsewhere. On one occasion, he beats Newsday and MLB.com by 2 hours on a story that might’ve been the 9th or 10th most interesting item of a slow day, yet protests when the ticker-tape parade hasn’t been booked.
Seriously, not since AJ Benza’s knuckles scrapped the earth’s surface has the NYC media scene produced so loathsome a character, nor one with so little to say.
I realize the independent wrestling circuit isn’t what it once was, but there’s got to be some money in a Jeremy Giambi / Ozzie Canseco program.